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New Hampshire Senate Expected to Vote on Decriminalization Next Thursday

Posted on28. May, 2015 by .

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On Tuesday, the New Hampshire Senate Judiciary Committee voted 4-1 to recommend against passage of HB 618, Rep. Adam Schroadter’s sensible bill that would decriminalize possession of one-half ounce or less of marijuana.

Schroadter
Rep. Adam Schroadter

This isn’t good news, but there is still hope for HB 618. In fact, one senator who voted “no” is already working to negotiate a compromise amendment that will be able to earn majority support when the bill is considered on the Senate floor. The full Senate is expected to vote on HB 618 next Thursday, June 5.

The post New Hampshire Senate Expected to Vote on Decriminalization Next Thursday appeared first on MPP Blog.


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Nullification Of Federal Hemp Ban In Colorado

Posted on27. May, 2015 by .

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Practical nullification of federal hemp laws in Colorado continues its march forward with the opening of the first large-scale industrial hemp processing plant.

Farmers in southeastern Colorado began harvesting hemp in the fall of 2013 after growing the crop was legalized in the state along with recreational marijuana. The PureVision Technology processing plant in Ft. Lupton recently began hemp processing, marking another step forward in nullifying federal prohibitions on hemp and establishing the industry in Colorado. In fact, some have called the Centennial State the “Silicon Valley of Hemp.”

Ed Lehrbuger runs PureVision Technology, and he gave an ABC 7 reporter a tour of the facility. It processes hemp stalks into pulp that can be made into paper, and sugar that serves as a basis for biofuel.

“Our tagline is pioneering the hemp revolution,” Lehrbuger said.

According to ABC 7, the plant has long processed corn stover and wheat stalks, but hemp harvests by farmers like Dani Billings created a demand for hemp processing.

“It’s going to save the world. It has thousands of uses, and it’s sustainable,” Billings told ABC 7. “Clothes, shoes, chairs, literally everything that we are in right now can be made from hemp. It just needs to get going.”

Company officials say the pilot plant will process a half-ton a day, and they plan to scale up to 25 tons a day by the fall in a larger facility as the hemp harvests grow.

Industrial hemp currently falls under the Controlled Substance Act of 1970. It technically remains legal to grow industrial hemp, but farmers must obtain a permit from the DEA, a nearly impossible feat. Up until last year, the feds maintained a policy of virtual prohibition.

In 2014, Pres. Obama signed a farm bill into law that includes a provision allowing a handful of states to begin limited research programs growing hemp. The hemp amendment allows, “state agriculture departments, colleges and universities to grow hemp, defined as the non-drug oilseed and fiber varieties of cannabis, for academic or agricultural research purposes. But the new measure applies only to states where industrial hemp farming is already legal under state law, and the feds still prohibit hemp production for commercial purposes.

The Colorado law completely ignores the federal ban, and farmers like Billings and companies like PureVision statute into action. Colorado has effectively nullified the federal on hemp prohibition.

When Colorado took the lead, other states followed suit. Legislatures in Oregon, South Carolina, and Vermont passed similar measures. Farmers in Vermont began harvesting hemp in 2014. On Feb. 2 of this year, the Oregon hemp industry officially opened for business. Just one week later, the state issued its first license to a small non-profit group that hopes to plant 25 acres this spring.

Experts estimate some 25,000 uses for industrial hemp, including food and body products, clothing, auto parts, building materials, biofuels and other goods. The Hemp Industries Association estimates that the total U.S. retail value of hemp products in 2014 came in at $ 620 million. The U.S leads the world in hemp imports, getting most of its supply from Canada and China while the federal government maintains its prohibition.

News Moderator: Jacob Redmond 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Nullification of Federal Hemp Ban Gets Real in Colorado | Tenth Amendment Center Blog
Author: Web Staff
Contact: Tenther Blog: News from the Tenth Amendment Movement
Photo Credit: Real Foods
Website: Tenther Blog: News from the Tenth Amendment Movement

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Memorial Day 2015 and Medical Marijuana

Posted on25. May, 2015 by .

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6_8_NORMLK.StroupPortrait_zAlong with family picnics and public concerts, as a country we wear poppies and decorate the graves of the fallen on the last Monday in May to honor our soldiers who have died while serving in the military. It is a holiday to remember their great sacrifices to protect our country, our citizens, and our way of life.

As we pause to celebrate Memorial Day this year, it also gives us an occasion to consider the sacrifices made by all those who have served, including the tens of thousands of veterans living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other emotional problems resulting from their service to our country.

While additional placebo-controlled research is needed to reconfirm the benefits of medical marijuana in reducing PTSD symptoms, existing research, along with anecdotal accounts from large numbers of PTSD sufferers, is sufficient today to justify its recommendation by physicians. Many combat veterans suffering from PTSD rely on cannabis to control their anger, nightmares and sometimes-violent rage.

Currently, those physicians affiliated with the US Department of Veterans Affairs may not legally recommend the use of medical marijuana to those veterans who could benefit from it use, even in states that have legalized the medical use. But that finally appears to be changing.

Offered as an amendment to a veterans affairs and military construction bill, a provision to expand medical marijuana coverage to US veterans was approved this week by the Senate Appropriations Committee, assuring it will be included in the version of the bill that will be sent shortly to the full senate for consideration. A similar amendment to a House military appropriations bill recently failed by only three votes on the floor of the House (210-213), setting up the need for a reconciliation process between the House and Senate versions of the appropriations bill, and the likelihood of the amendment being included in the final version of the bill approved by Congress.

While this most recent progress in Congress to approve the medical use of marijuana as a treatment option for VA physicians treating veterans is promising, it is but one small step in a longer process that must continue forward before marijuana is recognized under federal law as a valuable therapeutic agent for many conditions and illnesses.

But on this Memorial Day 2015, let’s honor our military men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice, as well as those surviving veterans who have served their country with distinction, by committing ourselves to assuring that all Americans, and especially our veterans, have access to whatever therapies treat their symptoms and conditions most effectively and help them heal, including the option of medical marijuana; and by removing the remaining governmental obstacles that undermine this noble goal and interfere with the physician-patient relationship.

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US Senators Cast First-Ever Vote In Favor of Medical Marijuana Access

Posted on24. May, 2015 by .

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The majority of the US Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday cast votes in favor of expanding medical cannabis access to United States veterans. The committee vote marks the first time that a majority of any body of the US Senate has ever decided in favor of increased cannabis access.

Committee members voted 18 to 12 in favor of The Veterans Equal Access Amendment, sponsored by Republican Senator Steve Daines of Montana and Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon. It was added in committee to a must-pass military construction and veterans affairs spending bill (the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act). The bill is “certain” to pass on the Senate floor, according to a Drug Policy Alliance press release.

Weeks ago, House members narrowly killed a similar amendment in the House version of the Appropriations Act by a floor vote of 210 to 213. Once the Senate version of the act is passed by the Senate floor, House and Senate leaders will need to reconcile the two versions.

The Daines/Merkley amendment permits physicians affiliated with the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to recommend cannabis therapy to veterans in states that allow for its therapeutic use. Under current federal law, VA doctors are not permitted to fill out written documentation forms authorizing their patients to participate in state-sanctioned medical cannabis programs.

Stand-alone legislation (HR 667) to permit VA physicians to recommend cannabis therapy is pending in the US House of Representatives, Committee on Veterans Affairs: Health Subcommittee. A similar provision is also included in Senate Bill 683/HR 1538, The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act.

NORML coordinated its 2015 legislative ‘fly-in’ and lobby day in Washington, DC this past week, where many attendees visited with US Senators and urged them to vote for the Daines/Merkley amendment, among other pending reform legislation. Archived presentations from the conference are online here.

To learn and/or to contact your elected officials in regard to other pending marijuana law reform legislation, please visit NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here.

NORML Blog, Marijuana Law Reform

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